lunes, 25 de noviembre de 2013

Perú Maravilloso Lp, Tiger´s Milk TGM003. 2013.

I think it is not necessary to remind our regular readers the purpose behind Sotano Beat's fanzine and blog: Returning to the collective memory, the work of Peruvian musicians from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Artists who undeservedly had a brief success at the time and then disappeared forever. But now, more than ten years after the foundation of our fanzine, it is also necessary to highlight the work of the labels that in recent years have released the work of these musicians, putting them again in the musical map for the current generation.

And what is better than international labels in Peruvian hands doing it? I mean the newest Tiger's Milk. I don't need to take too much time on the presentation of this new record label founded by Martín Morales, known in the culinary world for its Peruvian restaurant "Ceviche" in London. We will publish an interview with his partner David Ballantyne, also responsible for this compilation.
Tiger's Milk had already released “Peru Maravilloso” in every sonic format, including vinyl deluxe edition LP and 7".
We must also mention the collaboration of Andrés Tapia (Repsychled Rcds) in the excellent selection of the compiled songs.
Now, the music:
Lucho Neves and his Orchestra started playing with skill and originality a classic tune of the South-American Andean music: “El Mambo de Machaguay”, latin jazz with an unique flavor. Then comes the Caribbean style 'descarga' of Chango y su Conjunto playing an incredible set right before the relentless groove of Juaneco y su Combo, with the hypnotic "Cumbia del Pacurro": cries of wild animals from the dark jungle, soaked in wah wah guitars and the ubiquitous guiro that invites you to move your body in a trance!
Then comes the turn of the "dark" Zheros with their uninhibited psychedelic guitar riffs and reverberant sound, cumbiando with "Para Chachita". The party can't stop! The sound of "Meshkalina" comes now: a little masterpiece of psychedelic Peruvian composed by Traffic Sound, this time in the original version of the Paco Zambrano y su Combo, with a strong boogaloo rhythm. After that, the cumbia returns again, this time with Los Gatos Blancos and their “El Chacarero”; a band reissued for the first time in a compilation, with an extremely fine sound between Los Mirlos and Los Diablos Rojos.
But not every tune here is just salsa or cumbia, Tiger's Milk let us hear the voice of Zulu, an extraordinary musician, who suddenly in the 70s disappeared almost without trace. The researchers from cult Sotano Beat Fanzine tell their story in a fabulous interview here:
Zulu sings "Sueño de Amor" in the key of soul and boogaloo, with that sensual idiosyncratic voice of him. After this romantic intermission we are back to the land where cumbia kicks, and we are dancing to Los Orientales, Los Ribereños and Los Ecos, who bring a stunning reinterpretation of the Beatles tune "I feel fine”.
What can be said about the next track "Toro Mata"? It's a tune that every Peruvian has ever heard. It's a song that not only defines our national folklore, but, unlike any, reveals the great contribution of African culture to the Peruvian culture. The compiled version brings the Orchestra of Pocho Purizaga doing some beautiful string arrangements, elegant Hammond sounds and tasty percussion work.
To continue surprising us with this collection of songs comes Manzanita, founder (along with Enrique Delgado) of the Peruvian style of cumbia: the tune "Zambito Rumbero" brings to our ears an electric guitar raving with his unique and uninhibited style, turning upside down the limits of a genre invented by himself: That's what I call originality!
And after that batch of cool songs we know you people want more, so let us bring al last but not least Felix Martínez y sus Chavales and the great Aniceto y sus Fabulosos (you can read their story here:

The LP also comes with a bonus track from the creators of "Darkroom", The Zheros and their insane "Descarga de los Zheros".It is also important to mention the quality of this first label's release, the very informative notes accompanying the CD and the mp3 downloads accompanying the vinyl edition, adding a good design to a compilation that sets already, musically, a high standard for future editions of our Peruvian urban music.

Thanks to Antonio Ayora González for help to translate this text.

domingo, 24 de noviembre de 2013

Cumbia All Stars european Tour 2013

Singer Lucho Carrillo and guitar player Fernando Diaz Loli 
Sitting in a restaurant near the city center, I started my conversation with Lucho Carrillo, singer of Cumbia All Stars. "We really rocked the house!" He replied enthusiastically when I asked how the concert was in the WOMEX .
Cumbia All Stars came to Berlin after several performances starting with their concert at the World Music Expo in Cardiff (UK) representing Peru. Artists from around the world like Sidi Touré from Mali , Les Tambours de Brazza from Congo or the famous Van Van from Cuba were also there.

Sitting at the same table (shortly before their concert) I was honored to see the musicians who played in bands like Compay Quinto, Los Destellos, Los Diablos Rojos or Los Beta 5 : the founders of Peruvian Cumbia, now known by various nicknames, including "Psychedelic Cumbia" or what I like most "Cumbia Beat".
Lucho Carrillo (who answered my questions) was for four decades the lead singer of Los Diablos Rojos, with whom he toured through the country.  Under the direction of Marino Valencia he recorded ten Lps : "Our cumbia was aguarachadita" he told me confident , "we had our own style, Los Destellos  their own style too, you recognized our sound immediately, not like the groups from now sounding similar to each other "
Asking about their European tour he told me that in the peruvian carp of WOMEX they initially  had trouble checking the sound. But then people, their audience, surrendered completely dancing to the hot music that they carry in their drums, guitars and blood.
In addition to be excellent musicians, Cumbia All Stars are perfectionists of sound and proudly want to leave a mark on the European public. Their concert is like opening the door of their homes and like letting you into their world, a world in which sympathy and joy of life make you spend an unforgettable night .
"Thanks to Selvámonos, because of them we are here. They wanted us to play the authentic, original Peruvian cumbia. At the beginning they casted about twenty musicians, but now only eight stayed." As he said it, I saw them eating. It was clear that they fitted together very well.
At the concert in Glashaus Fernando Diaz Loli started playing his stratocaster, making his “solo” with his teeths in the style of rock and roll! Or Manuel Pecho, coming out of the shadows to do a bass solo , starting with deep to the higher notes!

What defines Peruvian Cumbia as music style? " Electric guitars! " answered Enrique Yllescas, "We added effects like Fuzz and Wah Wah " remarked Lucho "And Los Pakines used the Tape Echo" ( predecessor of Delay) -  added Enrique again.
"And how this reinterpretation of cumbia was accepted in Colombia, these new sounds from Perú?  I asked with curiosity : "Well” - Lucho Carrillo told me - “years ago, I was invited to  Bucaramanga in Colombia, and when I arrived they had closed several streets of the city. It was a tremendous party in the whole city. They had put together a huge sound system. More than three blocks of people dancing in the street and they were dancing Peruvian cumbia! The DJs put Los Destellos, then my group Los Diablos Rojos... Everything! I had stayed 15 years living in Colombia, but fate brought me here, to Europe, to be the voice of Cumbia All Stars."

"After Berlin, when we will return to Perú, we will complete our recordings of the first album with the band, we´ll gonna finish the mixing and mastering" concluded Lucho Carrillo.
Jose Rodriguez "El Gato", manager of the 2013 European tour, told me that the album will be officially launched on January 3rd in Lima. He also said that they are working with La Gris Films, for the realization of the next video clip, which will be released about March 2014.

My thanks to Selvámonos team, especially José Rodríguez and Juliette Boggio and Lakino.
Ricardo Garcia, Sótano Beat correspondent from Berlín.

domingo, 17 de noviembre de 2013

Cumbia All Stars Tour Europeo 2013 : Reportaje.

Entrevistando a la banda
Sentado en un restaurant cerca del centro de Berlín inicié mi conversación con Lucho Carrillo, cantante del super grupo Cumbia  Allstars. “La rompimos !” me contestó con entusiasmo cuando le pregunté cómo les había ido en el Womex.
Cumbia All Stars había llegado a Berlín después de varias actuaciones iniciadas con su concierto en la World Music Expo en Cardiff, Reino Unido, representando al Perú juntos a  artistas de todo el mundo como Sidi Touré de Mali, Les Tambours de Brazza del Congo o los famosos Van Van de Cuba.
Sentados en la misma mesa ( poco antes de su concierto) tuve el honor de ver a los músicos fundadores de la cumbia peruana, ahora conocida bajo diversos motes, entre ellos “Cumbia Psicodélica” o el que a mí más me gusta “Cumbia Beat”.
Lucho Carrillo fue durante cuatro décadas el vocalista de Los Diablos Rojos, con los que recorrió el país y bajo la dirección de Marino Valencia grabó una decena de Lps: “ Nuestra cumbia era aguarachadita “ me comenta confidente, “ nosotros teníamos nuestro estilo, Los Destellos el suyo, reconocías nuestro sonido al toque, no como los grupos de ahora que suenan tan parecidos unos a otros”

Preguntando por su tour europeo me comentan que en la carpa peruana del Womex, al principio  costó trabajo poner el sonido a punto, pero después la gente, su público, se entregó completamente bailando al son de esa música caliente que ellos llevan en los cueros y en la sangre.
Y es que, además de excelentes músicos, los integrantes de Cumbia All Stars  son perfeccionistas del sonido y con orgullo quieren dejar huella en el público europeo. Un concierto para ellos es como abrir la puerta de sus casas y dejarte entrar en su mundo, un mundo en el cual la simpatía y la alegría de vivir te hacen pasar una noche inolvidable.
“Y todo gracias a Selvamonos, es por ellos que estamos aquí, porque querían que tocaramos la auténtica, original cumbia peruana. Convocaron cerca de veinte músicos y hemos quedado solo ocho” y mientras me lo decía, al verlos comiendo juntos poco antes de subirse al escenario del Glas Haus, fué claro que además se llevan muy bien, como cuando más tarde durante su concierto cada uno de ellos fueron haciendo “solos” en sus respectivos instrumentos :
Fernando Díaz Loli arrancando octavas imposibles de su stratocaster para terminar tocando las cuerdas con los dientes al más puro estilo del rockanroll ! o Manuel Pecho, saliendo de la sombra para hacer un solo de bajo eléctrico, empezando con las notas graves y profundas y llegando hasta abajo ! del instrumento me refiero.  Y es que la picardía sale al menor descuido.
Qué es lo que define una agrupación de Cumbia Peruana? “Las guitarras eléctricas !” me responde Enrique Yllescas, “...le anadíamos efectos como el Fuzz y el Wah Wah” remarca Lucho “...y Los Pakines solían usar el Eco de Cinta !” (antecesor del Delay) - añade Enrique nuevamente.

Y cómo aceptaron los colombianos esa reinterpretación de la cumbia,  esos nuevos sonidos desde Perú? pregunto curioso: “Mira - me cuenta Lucho Carrillo - yo fuí a Colombia invitado a la ciudad de Bucaramanga, y cuando llego habían cerrado varias calles de la ciudad y armado tremendo fiestón, con unos equipos de sonido enormes ! Más de tres cuadras de gente bailando en la calle y lo que bailaban era cumbia peruana! Los pinchadiscos ponían Los Destellos, mi grupo entonces Los Diablos Rojos...todo! Me quedé 15 anos viviendo en Colombia pero el destino me trajo aquí, a Europa, a ser la voz de Cumbia All Stars “
“Después de Berlin, cuando regresemos a Perú vamos a poner a punto las grabaciones de lo que será el primer disco con la banda, vamos a terminar las mezclas y la masterización.” concluye Lucho Carrillo. Conversando después con José Rodriguez “el gato”, persona clave y tour manager de la banda, me aclara que el disco será oficialmente presentado el 3 de Enero en Lima.

Mis agradecimientos al equipo Selvamonos, en especial José Rodríguez y Juliette Boggio y Lakino Berlin.